On Monday 1st November, at approximately 10000 ft, command of 207 Squadron was handed over from Wg Cdr Scott Williams RAF to Cdr Tim Flatman RN.
Wg Cdr Williams and Cdr Flatman had taken off from RAF Marham and flew down to the south coast before officially conducting the handover of the Squadron across the radio whilst airborne.
Once the pair had landed back at RAF Marham, Wg Cdr Williams handed over the pennant to Cdr Flatman in front of the Squadron building by the new Squadron perry buoy. The perry buoy is used by Commanding Officers of the Royal Navy to welcome visitors to the ship whilst alongside.
Wg Cdr Williams said
Command of 207 Squadron has been the most immense privilege of my military career, and a personal achievement I will reflect on for the rest of my life. Since our formation as the Lightning OCU on 1st August 2019, the hard work and determination of the entire squadron team has been key to us overcoming myriad challenges as the first independent F-35 unit to have formed outside of the USA. I know my successor, Commander Tim Flatman RN, will take the squadron's people and reputation forward brilliantly.
Number 207 Squadron is the Operational Conversion Unit for the UK F-35B Lightning Force; providing training for the next generation of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots. They also train the Landing Signals Officers who support flying from the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.
The Squadron has a history with both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy as it originally stood up in 1916 as Number 7 Squadron Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS). When the Royal Air Force was formed on 1st April 1918 it then became Number 207 Squadron.
Cdr Flatman joined the Royal Navy in 1997 and upon completion of his flying training flew the Sea Harrier embarking on both HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS INVINCIBLE. He converted to the GR7/9 in 2005 and completed 2 operational deployments in Afghanistan in support of Op HERRICK between 2005 and 2007. Following his time on the front line, Cdr Flatman moved to RAF Valley as a Qualified Flying Instructor and became the RAF Valley Senior Naval Officer.
Cdr Flatman also served at Yeovilton, RNAS Culdrose, RAF Wittering and the Ministry of Defence in London before moving to RAF Marham to undertake his conversion course to the F-35.
On taking Command of 207 Squadron Cdr Flatman said
I’m incredibly pleased and proud to take command of 207 Squadron. Wg Cdr Williams and his team have done a superb job over the last few years to get the Squadron to where it is today and I am looking forward to continuing that work over the next few years